By Simon Liseli
MINE explorations at Singalamwe area some 140 kilometers northwest of Katima Mulilo has raised eyebrows amongst loyalist community members of the area who are seriously concerned with their natural resources.
This came after a group of unknown men but were later identified as a combination of Oshiwambo speaking people and Angolans arrived at Singalamwe on October 30, 2017 aiming to dig diamonds in the area without informing residents or producing any official document from the central government that allows them to do mining in the area.
On arrival, the group met Mr. Office Chisozu one of the war veterans in Singalamwe and Mr.Michael Mahula where they introduced themselves and explained their visit in the area, later on they produced a map that shows the area and a place where they were supposed to dig diamonds.
They further told two old men that their colleague who passed through the area in an aeroplane discovered the place.
Mr. Beaven Zamali accommodated the group at his village where they set up their tent with their working tools such as spades and others. Indunas and other concerned community members established that the group already have all information and know the place very well.
In an exclusive interview with the area Induna of Singalamwe Mr. Patrick Milunga Ingenda said the group only met him on November 1, 2017 at his village and explained to him why they were in the area and aims of being there, but Induna Ingenda adviced them not to do anything because he was not aware and his people were not informed.
Mr. Milunga decided to go and report the matter to Mafwe Royal Establishment at Chinchimani traditional authority and hear more if they were aware of those people but Chinchimani khuta denied of anything pertaining those people. The khuta adviced him to go back and keep an eye to the group if they do anything to let it know immediately. To his surprise when he returned from Chinchimani he find the group had cleaned the place with their spades and were having a part for the start of their work.
“I was surprised when I came back to hear that the group had cleaned the area and having a part of starting their work. At Chinchimani they denied them maybe they are known by the governor and councilor and if so why they didn’t inform us instead of just sending them?” questioned Mr. Ingenda.
On November 4, 2017 the community with their indunas organised a meeting where the group was called and asked to produce documents from the central government but they failed to produce any official document and were saying minister can’t come or attend to such small issues.
“We finally told them to vacate our area and I think those people discovered the place when they were constructing gravel road to Kamenga boarder post in 2010 because that time we gave them right direction to take but they didn’t want to listen to us only when they discovered the place is when they came back and re-started constructing the one with a tarred road now” he explained.
However Zambezi Regional Governor honorable Alufea Sampofu confirmed the incident to be true when asked if he was aware of such incident.
“Yes am aware, I was informed about it and I instructed the constituency councilor of Kongola hon. David Muluti to bring those people to my office, he brought them and I questioned them different questions which they answered how they got into the area and also produced official letters from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and a consent letter signed by Induna of Singalamwe and representative from Singalamwe Khuta was among the group when they went to my office and confirmed to me that all community members are aware ” he noted.
According to Sampofu the only mistake they did was not of reporting to the regional council that is answerable on every happening in the region and reports to central government. Governor Sampofu requests concerned community members of Singalamwe to consult their indunas for clarifications.
“It’s a surprise for me to hear that community members at Singalamwe worry about that but they know everything because they are the very people who received those people and showed them the area where they were to do mining of precious stone and among them when they went to my office a representative from Singalamwe khuta was present and confirmed to me that all community members are aware of what is to happen in the area and have signed an agreement that if anything found in their land they should also benefit, I don’t know the reason why should they worry” He explained.
On their arrival at Singalamwe the group reported to Kongola police station and to the office of Kongola constituency councilor, and explained why they were in the area.
The Caprivi Vision has also established from the social media with allegations that the company was identified to be called Einekelo Investment mining company owned by Mr. Thomas Petrus from the Northern Namibia and among the group there was one Angolan expert in mining.
“Ask the councilor for Kongola constituency he knows and he will tell everything” concluded governor Sampofu.
Meanwhile , Kongola constituency councilor hon. David Muluti denied of knowing anything about the mining company in his constituency when he was contacted for clarities. “Am not aware of that and I have nothing to tell you since I was not informed about it, I have no idea” he said.
Efforts to hear official reports on who owns and who is doing the mining from the Ministry of Mines and Energy proved futile as the media liaison officials were on leave.
” all what we can do is only to check and verify the name of the company , and people responsible with the information are out on leave including the diamond commissioner” said unnamed source in the Ministry of Mines and Energy.